2023-06-12 REPORTS: TX

Jun 4, 2018
Altus, OK
I started the day at 8:00am in Altus, OK....going to work. Knocked out a few things and hit the road at around 10am, with my initial target being Abilene, TX. Once I got to Abilene, I rechecked model data and decided to adjust SE. I stopped in Baird, TX for gas, and headed south on US 283. I sat at the intersection of US 283 and TX 36 for about an hour or so, and then adjusted a little further south to Coleman. Sitting at the Alon gas station in Coleman, I saw at least 30 individual storm chasers, many just stopping for fuel and others hanging out waiting on initiation. I even saw Reed Timmer and the Dominators, and I'll admit that my inner child was kind of excited to see them out in the wild like that.

After some more waiting, I saw the first signs of initiation on radar near Paint Rock, TX, so I proceeded south on US 283, through Santa Anna, and onwards to about 10 miles north of Brady. After a few failed attempts, one of the updrafts finally decided to stick:20230612_183311.jpg

The storm was getting its act together pretty quickly, so I continued south on US 283, and then west on US 87. It was here that I saw the best structure of the day with the sky lit by the sunset in the background. I also noted fairly intense rotation, though I never did see anything that I could confirm as a funnel. I also was able to record a cool timelapse of the storm where it has the barber pole sort of look as it was rotating.


I moved back east, through Brady, and then south on US 190 to avoid the hail core. The storm then moved on beyond my reach, and another coming up behind it started showing signs of rotation. I stuck with this new storm further down US 190 and onto FM 1311, but it never really got its act together and I don't really have any decent photos. I followed FM 1311 to TX 29, then on towards Mason, TX, where I called the chase. As usual, I managed to get one last shot of the storm receding into the distance, lit by the setting sun:

I headed back towards Brady, got food and gas, and then headed home. I got back to Altus at around 2:30am. I went 642 miles total and was on the move for a total of about 14.5 hours. It was truly a marathon of a chase.

Final Thoughts:
I have done a couple days of thinking on this one, and if I'm being honest, this was likely the chase where I performed the best. I made a plan, I was in position, and I made good decisions during the heat of the chase. I can't really think of any glaring errors or boneheaded decisions that I made on this one. The storms simply didn't produce, and there wasn't anything I could have done about that. This was also my personal best structure day. I admittedly have a pretty small pool of options when it comes to that distinction, but still.

I will say though, this chase was the worst that I've been impacted by chaser convergence. There were a few times where I had to wait to work myself back onto the road off the shoulder, and also a few times where I had to find a different spot to safely stop because the shoulder was already full. Having said that, I didn't personally witness any erratic behavior. One guy did say he nearly saw a head on collision involving the TIV, but he also mentioned Reed. I saw the Dominators and the TIV out there, so I suppose it could have been either one. I did rather enjoy the social aspect of being around so many other chasers though. The few conversations that I found myself in were very pleasant.

At the time of posting this, I only see one, MAYBE two, more opportunities for me to chase in my preferred area, so this may well have been my last chase of this season. I will go more into a full season recap whenever the "season in review" thread goes up.